Plokstine Missile Base

Plungė, Lithuania

Plokštinė was an underground missile base of the Soviet Union. This is the first nuclear missile base of the Soviet Union, an underground R-12 Dvinaballistic medium-range missile base. In 2012, the Cold War Museum was opened at the site.

At the time when the United States started building underground military bases, it was decided that the Soviet Union had to maintain its military advantage. Therefore, in September 1960, the Soviets started rapid construction of an underground military base, one of the first in the Soviet Union, near the village of Plokščiai. The chosen location was 160 metres above sea level and it could cover all of Europe, including Turkey and southern European countries. In 1960, more than 10,000 Soviet soldiers started secret works in the Žemaitija National Park that took two years. The costs of construction were comparable to the costs of building a city district or a small town.

The base was one of the top Soviet military secrets that was revealed by U.S. reconnaissance only in 1978. The base boasted of a network of tunnels and included four deep shafts that have a depth between 27 to 34 meters. They were covered by the concrete domes that could be moved aside on rails in 30 minutes. The base could stay autonomous for 15 days, or for 3 hours if also hermetically sealed. The surrounding electric fence was normally connected to 220 V, with a possibility to raise the voltage to 1700 in case of alert. The active team consisted of about 300 people, most of them military guards.

The base included four silos that housed R-12 Dvina missiles with nuclear warheads. These missiles were propelled using a medium-range liquid. They weighed more than 40 tones, including 1,500-kilogram warhead. These surface-to-surface missiles had a radius of a little less than 2,500 kilometres. No missiles, even for tests, were launched from the base.

After twelve years of operations, the site was shut down. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the site has been abandoned and not maintained. It has been visited by urban explorers, also suffered from numerous metal thefts. After the reconstruction in 2012, the former base site now hosts the Cold War Museum, opening one of the four existing silos for visitors.

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Address

164, Plungė, Lithuania
See all sites in Plungė

Details

Founded: 1960
Category: Miscellaneous historic sites in Lithuania

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

John Turney (16 months ago)
Didn't really know what to expect but a fascinating insight into a piece of history. The challenge is how poignant this is in the current climate with what Russia and China are doing now..... the place is set in a beautiful forest but the whole set up is scary yet fascinating. From the underground bunkers to the 4 silos that held the nukes and the simulation room showing the impact of a "small" warhead.... needs to be seen to hopefully teach us a lesson of where we really don't want to be.
Audrius Stankunas (17 months ago)
Amazing place to visit, make sure you get a guide, because do to nature of abandoned building some items are missing, and without a guide it might get tricky to understand what was in some rooms. Also it is rare site to visit so pop in untill its still there.
Gytis Bliu (17 months ago)
Too expensive after July 1, 2022. 10eu for a 30-40min excursion is a bit too much. There would be nice to have an option to go without a guide, because everything is written down in the museum
Vidar Kristian Bjerkeland (22 months ago)
Awesome place for documentation of the cold war. Let's stay behind and never happen again. Europe, we are united!
Fernando (2 years ago)
Loved it! Great place to learn more about Lithuanian history, if you are an English though you should ask for an audio guide. The launch shaft is magnificent!!
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